At this week’s meeting of the Not-for-Profit Webmaster Round Table, we watched demos of Giving Impact, a new online fundraising platform from Minds on Design Lab; a Digg-like site np.tech.io which allows visitors to vote up / down their favorite nonprofit tech posts; and Pushcards, a novel way to create a postcard campaign using (using Click2Mail to send postcards). But how well could the effectiveness of a postcard campaign be measured?
We then turned to mobile. We agreed that besides the obvious technical issues of creating a mobile optimized site and/or application, content is often the biggest challenge. Designing for mobile forces an organization to prioritize its content for a small screen, much like many departments have often competed for space on a website home page. As an alternative to a complete website redesign (often the only way to make an existing site work well on mobile), David Milner reported success using Mobify as an interim step. I also recommended the WordPress plug-in WPTouch. To learn more about responsive design, take a class with Noble Desktop (in NYC).
Who’s ready for year-end fundraising? Apparently not many organizations that were represented at our meeting. It’s time to get started. We also discussed how to create ‘benefits’ to encourage constituents to join (membership) organizations; one attendee suggested setting up conference calls between members and top management. I also recommended offering a monthly giving option, like WBGO is doing in its current fundraising drive.
How about using video to stimulate fundraising / engagement? Rainforest Alliance has nearly 1.4 million views to date with Follow the Frog. Also, Charity Water continues to create amazing videos, such as its current September Campaign.
Of course no get-together of iT folk is complete without a venture into social media. One attendee’s client recently asked what other social platforms they should try, even though they haven’t yet analyzed their current activity on Facebook and Twitter to determine their effectiveness. Twitter has a new analytics module which is worth a look, as is Twitonomy. (Also see my recent blog post highlighting Idealware’s great new social media guide.)
If you haven’t tried Google+ Hangouts / Hangouts On Air for group meetings, it’s time to take a look – some of our attendees prefer it to Skype.
Finally, we sadly agreed that the ideal of a nonprofit using a decentralized system to update web content is often still a dream. It’s not easy to get staff to update content, especially if it’s not officially part of their job. Providing content templates can sometimes help, but it’s still a tricky process to get staff to understand that a fresh website is still important, even in the age of social media. If your staff does write content, make sure you enable your content management systems’s workflow capabilities so updates can be reviewed before publication.
Contact us if you’d like to be notified about our next meeting, planned for December.